(KPL) The government has approved the creation of another two national conservation biodiversity areas, bringing the total number from 22 to 24, spanning some 4 million ha.

The decision was made in accordance with a governmental report on the implementation of a socio-economic development plan for the first six months of 2012-2013.

Phou Khaokwouay mountain conservation forest in Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province.
Phou Khaokwouay mountain conservation
forest in Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province.
While 66 conservation areas have been determined and placed under the control of provincial level government, 143 protected forests remain under district level administration.

The two new conversation areas are Phou Hiphi national conservation forest measuring 87,000 ha in Oudomsay Province, and Laving-Lavuen conservation forest in Savannakhet province with a total area of 86, 000 ha.

The approval of additional conservation areas is part of Laos’ plan to increase its forest coverage from less than 41 per cent to 65 per cent by 2015.

As a result, Laos currently has 24 national biodiversity conservation forests, covering over 3.8 million ha, including 600,000 ha of provincial conservation forests and 400,000 ha of district level conservation forests.

In addition, the government has approved the establishment of 47 national protection forests with a total area of 7.2 million ha. Almost 700 border marks for conservation forests and have been completed, and over 1,000 border marks for restoration forests have also been made. The protection of forests has been assigned to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Laos’ national forest coverage has dropped from 70 per cent in 1940, at 17 million hectares, to 41 per cent in 2001, when a ban on timber exports was enforced due to rampant illegal deforestation over the past decade.

Source: KPL Lao News Agency
By Vinnaly
July 30, 2013